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Thread: ASMR

  1. #1

    ASMR

    From Wikipedia:

    Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial. Tom Stafford, a professor at the University of Sheffield, says, "It might well be a real thing, but it's inherently difficult to research."
    I remember as a kid that I would always look forward to getting my hair cut, because when I was sitting there having it done I would get this pleasant feeling like a tense tingling in the back of my neck. It's hard to describe other than being a serene, mild sensation that seemed to have something to do with somebody moving their fingers through my hair and the sound of the scissors snipping. I tried to tell my parents about it and they looked at me like I was crazy and had no idea what I was talking about. It wasn't until years later that I would read about other people experiencing the same thing under similar or very different circumstances.

    This is apparently a "thing" now that some people are really enthusiastic about, and I discovered with a cursory youtube search the other day that there are a shitload of videos people are making containing common triggers to elicit this sensation in people.

    Quote Originally Posted by video description
    Hello everyone! This 3D Binaural ASMR sound assortment video features nail tapping, chime sounds, bag crinkling, metal, plastic, foam, and squishy sounds, scratching, soft speaking, whispering, hair brushing, brushing with a makeup brush and feathers, shells, liquid sounds, gravel, and glass.
    My first instinct was that the huge assortment of these very long videos with a pretty girl talking to me and doing strange things was kind of creepy, but when I started watching one I found that it sort of sucked me in, made me feel relaxed and at ease and was very effective at producing that mild, pleasant sensation. I've been playing them on my laptop when I get in bed and found that it puts me to sleep quickly and pleasantly, and may actually help when I start making myself go to bed at a certain hour(I have some early classes this coming semester).

    Anyway, I'm curious if there are people who don't experience this at all - I imagine the whole thing would seem pretty strange and off-putting if you didn't - or if there are others like me who experienced it at some point and thought it was just a thing unique to them. Also, does anyone have any theories on what might cause it? The main triggers seem to all involve soft, gentle sounds and attention being paid to oneself in a relaxing environment. What do you think?

  2. #2
    (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    http://www.reddit.com/r/asmr

    I don't think I get ASMR like other people do, or I'm not as sensitive to it. I do get it sometimes from haircuts or a good massage. I notice the majority of these ASMR videos have a common denominator of being recorded in binaural using high sensitivity mics, which I find interesting. I have a binaural recording setup and do ambient & nature recordings with it (here's one). It's actually pretty trippy to monitor the mics in a pair of isolating headphones when they're turned up high -- it feels like having superhuman hearing.

  3. #3
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I think it's a grooming related thing. There is a sense of being paid attention to. The video you linked reminds me a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood in a sense (On reflection, I think that show had ASMR triggers for me). There's the same deliberate invocation of personal intimacy. She's taking you through a tour of some of her favorite things. The first two items in particular are clearly very personal to her. I have my doubts as to the efficacy of the sounds alone without the roleplay aspect of her patter.

    I think the reason high sensitivity mics are used for these is to better capture the implicit intimacy of a whisper. Without it, the nuance of the whisper would be lost, and thus the implied intimacy.

    It's interesting that this is a thing. Less creepy and more sad methinks.
    For some, "how", not "why", is the fundamental unit of measure for curiosity. This divergence is neither parallel, nor straight. Where one might have a "why?-5" problem, it might only be a "how?-2" question. But then, there are also many things where the "why?" is immediately obvious but the "how?" is best measured in centuries of perpetual wonder. Both approaches have their drawbacks.

    If one is superior, the other is unaware of it.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  4. #4
    limbic grooming response.

  5. #5
    Member MacGuffin's Avatar
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    I have it, first noticed it watching Bob Ross paint his "happy little trees" as a child.

    Those that don't understand it find ASMR pretty creepy. In many ways, it is like porn. Both generate sensual feelings, but where porn is (supposed to be) exciting, ASMR is relaxing. In fact, introducing sexuality into ASMR can be off-putting to many like me.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I have my doubts as to the efficacy of the sounds alone without the roleplay aspect of her patter.
    Do you experience ASMR? I could see where you're coming from, but there are a huge variety of these videos including a lot that specify "no talking" and even no people at all. Well, I haven't found any that are purely synthetically generated sound, but there are a ton that are just hands turning pages and highlighting things in a newspaper, crinkling plastic, and even typing on mechanical keyboards. I've found them to be pretty effective. Personally, though, I've experienced this sensation from things like riding a bus or sitting at the library, situations where there are these soft, unintrusive sounds... it's hard to put my finger on it exactly. The aspect of having attention paid to oneself definitely enhances it, I think, so I can certainly see it being connected to a grooming response, but that's not the entirety of it.
    It's interesting that this is a thing. Less creepy and more sad methinks.
    What do you think is sad about it?

  7. #7
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I do experience ASMR. I've generally liked haircuts for the reasons you describe (sometimes it doesn't happen, those are barbers I don't return to). Many of the potential triggers don't work for me at all--though one video I saw that worked on sympathetic massage worked pretty damn well. Yay vivid imagination!

    I think it's sad, or specifically, I think the ASMR videos are a bit sad because of what I think ASMR is: a biological bonding response to grooming. That these videos are a thing implies a certain tragedy in people's ability or willingness to actually bond with those around them. It's a striking step further down the path of being alone together.
    For some, "how", not "why", is the fundamental unit of measure for curiosity. This divergence is neither parallel, nor straight. Where one might have a "why?-5" problem, it might only be a "how?-2" question. But then, there are also many things where the "why?" is immediately obvious but the "how?" is best measured in centuries of perpetual wonder. Both approaches have their drawbacks.

    If one is superior, the other is unaware of it.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  8. #8
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    ?

    Never heard of it, never felt anything like it.

    The whole thing strikes me as baffling, to be honest.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I have it, first noticed it watching Bob Ross paint his "happy little trees" as a child.

    Those that don't understand it find ASMR pretty creepy. In many ways, it is like porn. Both generate sensual feelings, but where porn is (supposed to be) exciting, ASMR is relaxing. In fact, introducing sexuality into ASMR can be off-putting to many like me.
    are you kidding it gives me chubs every time. a lot of the asmr stars on youtube are pretty hot.

  10. #10
    non-canonical Light Leak's Avatar
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    My head tingles sometimes after a migraine. Probably not the same thing, but I don't find it pleasant. I'm trying to understand how it can be pleasant.

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